Police have evacuated a migrant camp belonging to the Roma community in a southern suburb of the French capital and expelled a group of Roma people from the heart of the eastern city of Lyon.
The Sucey-en-Brie camp, one of the biggest camps in France housing at least 800 Roma, was evacuated on Thursday.
French authorities said the evacuation of the camp, housing the Roma community since 2011, was due to the construction of a highway extension.
The police also expelled about 80 Roma people from the center of Lyon prior to a visit by Interior Minister Manuel Valls. Jean-Francois Carenco, the prefect of the Rhone region, said, “Everything went off peacefully. About 20 of them will leave for Romania, the asylum seekers will be housed and we are looking into a solution for about 10 adults with various other statuses.” The Thursday move is the latest development in a series of attempts by the French government to expel about 15,000 Roma people back to their countries of origin, Romania and Bulgaria. On September 11, the French interior minister said, “Today, we cannot afford to accommodate all these people who are often wretched of the earth, who are persecuted in their country, who are discriminated against.”
The east European countries of Romania and Bulgaria are home to the biggest population of the Roma people with an official estimated number of 620,000. However, local rights groups say the population is approximately two million.
France’s decision to forcibly evacuate the Roma camps and send the people back to their fatherlands has strongly been criticized by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.
By MY/HSN http://www.presstv.ir/